Electric Cars—The Future of Emerging Nations

The United States has 840 cars per 1000 inhabitants, and Germany has 547 cars per 1000 inhabitants. Both of these nations are among the most well-developed in the world. Meanwhile, in China the density of cars is much lower—only 58 cars per 1000 inhabitants. How would the situation look if the density of automobiles in China were equivalent to that of the United States? One result—the demand for oil—is illustrated in the graphic below, which was published in China Daily on April 26, 2012. The world oil production of 2010 would not be sufficient to cover China’s demand if it had the same density of cars as the United States does. That scenario would be unsustainable with today’s technology.

 

Besides China, there are many other emerging countries. India, Brazil, and some of the African nations are also developing rapidly. Even if these countries achieved only 20% or 50% of the car density of the United States, the world’s oil reserves could not sustain it. It is very dangerous to let this trend continue. We need the oil reserves for construction materials, for plastics, and for composites. It is necessary now to implement changes in automobile technology that will lead toward something that is independent of oil.

There are discussions ongoing about which technology will be the future for automobiles. Vehicles could be powered by biofuels, natural gas, or electricity. With respect to biofuels, it is important to consider the competition for farmland by food crops. Natural gas is, like oil, limited in its availability if it is not also produced by plants. Nuclear energy is out of the question, because it is extremely risky and issues regarding nuclear waste still have not been resolved. The only energy source that is available in unlimited supply is electricity. Electricity can be produced by renewable energy sources.

Renewable energies are sufficiently available, although energy storage technology is still in the development phase. Whether the future technology will be an H2-storage or an accumulator is not yet clear, but regardless of the type of storage, the final drive will be powered electrically.

The introduction of electric cars will cut one-third of our total energy usage. It is in the interest of everyone that automobiles be powered by renewable energy sources. We should save our natural reserves. Electric cars are the future of all nations.

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